Hills Unlimited is A-OK!!!
Distance: 10 Kilometers
Date: March 10, 2013
Read about: Incoming: Baguio 2Wenty 1ne
“Running Baguio was a Coast and Crawl Adventure. Coast on the descents and crawl on the inclines which is about 1 to 2 kilometers long covering 50-100 meters of elevation in a scenic and breezy route along Marcos Highway and Mount Cabuyao.”
Drum Rolls Please
Baguio 21K Run by RenderFarms has been 3 years running and I’ve registered in all 3 stagings but missed the first two runs due to schedule conflicts and car mishaps and finally… finally, the Franc has come back to Baguio City… The third staging is finally the charm as I was all set to join this one, which coincidentally falls on my birthday weekend. I really wanted to do the 21K distance but I was coming off back to back half marathons in February and would be attending my niece’s debut the night before so decided to just go for 10K during the last day of registration. As I don’t want to jinxed it yet again, I didn’t announce that I would be running this one until I had my kit with me and was safely at home. I’m really excited for this one even if this was not my first run in Baguio having joined Radar Run before the end of last year. So all systems go and I’m eating Baguio hills for breakfast on my Birthday Weekend.
Race Course and Elevation
The course was simple which starts at Burnham Park then proceeds to Kisad Road going to Marcos Highway and climbs further the stretch going to Mount Cabuyao before taking the u-turn back to Marcos Highway, Kisad Road and the finish line in Burnham Park. The Elevation is really challenging which has a climb of about 50-60 meters in the first two kilometers from Burnham to Kisad and a stretch of Marcos Highway. After this, there’s a kilometer-worth of descent covering 60-70 meters of elevation in the area of Marcos Highway near Bakakeng. The next 2 kilometers stretch takes you about a 100 meters worth of climbing from Marcos Highway to the 10K u-turn slot in Mount Cabuyao. The race then goes back to Burnham Park with 2 kilometers descent from Mt. Cabuyao, 1 kilometer climb and finally, 2 kilometers of the descent going to the finish line.
The road to the finish is not was not as simple as that. Race day Sunday was full of some lapses. I left my water bottle as I was rushing to catch the gun start. Upon arriving at the site, it was a few seconds before gun start. So off I went, no hydration, no warm up but just a no quit, no excuses attitude. I just wanted to feel the hills and go at an aerobic pace and this is gonna be a nice hydration training for me.
Crawl and Coast 5K
The race started with a hill climb from Burnham Park to Marcos Highway via Kisad Road and started at below 6:30 minute per kilometer pace and slowed down a bit on the second kilometer as wanted to conserve energy until the next water station. The third kilometer was a downhill so I coasted to below 6:30 minute per kilometer pace taking advantage of gravity. The next two kilometers was extreme uphill so I did a combination of walk and run in between to cover the distance. The first water station was at kilometer 4 so took my time and drank several cups of water to rehydrate. The fifth kilometer was the toughest with the climb to a portion of Mt. Cabuyao where another station awaits.
Coast and Crawl 5K
So first 5K was about 80% uphill and the good part was the next 5K would be more of downhill. Took my hydration break before proceeding to the next half of the race. It’s time to coast as the next two kilometers was a descent with water stops at each kilometer and I went on to about 6-6:20 minute pace at this part. It was also at the same time that the sun was finally setting so there where some scenic peeks of the sunrise. Kilometer 8 was the last climb so was alternating some walks and runs for this part so not to waste time and when the hills finally ended it was time to coast to the finish line with a pace of 6-6:15 minute per kilometer pace for a strong finish.
It was really fun running the hills err mountains. 10K in 1:11 in a extreme uphill route. I fell in love with the unlimited hills of Baguio and having them for my post birthday breakfast was really worth the challenge. It’s always a scenic run at Baguio and the cool morning breeze is an added treat for this run. Coast and Crawl and Finish Strong and I’m definitely doing this again in the future.
Meet, Greet and Eat for my Birthday
Funny how my priorities are skewed as I was rushing going home, I was able to bring my race gear but forgot my clothes for my niece’s debut. Well, that has been resolved with some retail therapy. It’s been quite sometime since I celebrated my birthday at home so it was a series of meet ups from lunch at Don Henricos in SM Baguio, to my Niece’s debut at Pines View Hotel and Lunch at Camp John Hay Manor. The run was totally out of place in this schedule but I really enjoyed this trip back home for my birthday. Good company, good food and a good run.